Sydney Adventist Hospital, affectionately known as the San, has taken the time to honour and celebrate its team of more than 300 volunteers.
The recognition took place during National Volunteer Week, an annual event held in May. Among the volunteers, 22 individuals were commended for significant years of service, ranging from 10 to 25 years.
“Our oldest and most inspiring volunteer, John Bulley, is 95 years of age,” said Help Team Volunteers manager Patrina McLean. “He volunteers every week, and our staff and patients look forward to seeing him. Our youngest volunteer, Victoria, is 24 and she is very dedicated. She travels a long way, driving past dozens of other hospitals because she says the San has the best volunteer program.”
Among those recognised was John Luschwitz, who has notched up 7000 hours of volunteering in 10 years. After a career in real estate, Mr Luschwitz decided to contribute his time at the hospital after his wife passed away at the San.
“They were very kind to us when we were travelling that journey, and it is a real honour and a privilege to be working with some beautiful people, and to help support patients and their families during their hospital stay,” he said.
After initially helping out at the San Snax café, Mr Luschwitz found his true calling on Level 6, the oncology and palliative care ward, where he does most of his volunteering. He talks with patients and their families and considers it a special honour to spend time with patients nearing the end of life who have no family nearby to visit them.
Mrs McLean said more than 20,000 volunteer hours have been contributed in the past calendar year alone.
“Since volunteers started in 1973, they have contributed more than 1,749,501 hours to the San,” she said. “The San is so blessed to have such generous people who contribute their time. There will always be something else to do with our time, there will always be somewhere else we can be, but our San volunteers choose to be at the San. Volunteers give of their time because they have a heart, and a caring heart always finds kindness and happiness to share.”
The volunteers contribute in many ways, including helping visitors find their way around the hospital, sorting stock, assisting in administration, serving in the hospital gift shop, and making hot drinks for patients in the Day Infusion Centre, Renal Dialysis Unit and Cardiac Cath Lab.